Three Things We Learned from Mexico's Win Over Venezuela at Reliant
Photos by Marco Torres
Check out our slideshow of fans and dives during the Mexico vs. Venezuela game.
To get a feel for Mexico's game against Venezuela last night at Reliant Stadium, one only needed to watch the last 25 minutes. Seriously... the previous 65 minutes only produced one Venezuelan goal.
Mexico found the net three times at the end -- two in a span of a minute.
Here are three thoughts from last night's game.
Mexico flexing their muscles in CONCACAF
Wednesday's clash at Reliant featured B squads from Mexico and Venezuela. Because the game didn't fall on an official FIFA Match Date, clubs weren't required to release star players to national teams, leaving both head coaches with an opportunity to test players that fall on the fringes of their respective player pools.
Mexico is in the midst of a "golden age," with players like Giovanni Dos Santos and Chicharito Hernandez being backed by the up-and-coming talent that saw Mexico win the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2011 and 2006. Although los Tricolores struggled at times against Venezuela, they finished off their opponent with style.
Mexico fared better that the U.S.
The U.S. had their crack at this same Venezuelan side five days earlier in Phoenix. Jürgen Klinsmann's team -- also a B-squad -- dominated Venezuela in almost every facet of the match. Yet the Yanks were only able to muster a last-minute goal from former Dynamo Ricardo Clark in stoppage time.
Still, the U.S.'s performance was some of their best technical play under Klinsmann. But what is obviously missing from the U.S. is a top goal scorer up top. Clark, a midfielder, made his goal off of a set piece. The U.S. is getting no production from the forward position.
Of course, Klinsmann has yet to have his full team available for any given match. Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey have yet to play together under Klinsmann, and ex-Dynamo Stuart Holden has been injured. Both the U.S. and Mexico begin World Cup qualifying this summer, and Klinsmann is running out time to field his team.
Where'd the Mexicans go?
Usually, when El Tri comes to town, Mexican fans far outnumber the opposing fans, even in the U.S. Wednesday night was no different. What was different was the fact that Reliant Stadium was half-empty. The official attendance was 40,128.
Ticket sales from Mexico matches usually don't sell out until a couple of days before the match. When Mexico announced it was bringing a B-squad for its matches at Reliant and in Miami, fans decided to stay at home and watch on Univisión.
Stadium officials were holding on for last hope, that people would walk up in droves looking for tickets at the gate. Of course, this happens on the one day it decides to rain in Houston. Oh well, it was still as loud inside as a Texans game -- not "playoff game" loud, maybe a "losing game" loud.